Vibigaba (germinated brown rice) and maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentration: evaluation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Following an application from Loc Troi group, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of the Netherlands, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to Vibigaba (germinated brown rice) and contribution to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim based on newly developed scientific evidence. The food proposed by the applicant as the subject of the health claim is Vibigaba. The Panel considers that the germinated brown rice Vibigaba is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is ‘contribution to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels’. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations is a beneficial physiological effect. The Panel notes that the applicant did not perform a comprehensive literature search to identify human intervention studies which could be pertinent to the claim. The applicant did not reply to a specific request from EFSA to provide this information. The applicant identified one human intervention study as being pertinent to the claim. The Panel notes the important methodological limitations of the study (e.g. statistical methods used for data analysis not appropriate for the study design) and that the information provided on the design and conduct of the study is insufficient for a complete scientific evaluation. The Panel considers that no conclusions can be drawn from this study for the scientific substantiation of the claim. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of Vibigaba (germinated brown rice) and maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentration.